Students Sleep during Classes: The Amount of Time Varies Introduction.

The principle and vice principle were interested to know how much and why students sleep during their time at Seoul Robotics High school. Thus the following questions were set up by me to be answered in the form of a survey. How much do first and second grade students sleep much during class time? What are the main reasons for sleeping during class time? What are the natural sleep patterns and requirements for the average teenager?

Very Brief Literature Review Teen age sleep patterns are well documented and recorded. The sleeping patterns for teenager might be thought of in the following ways: “A number of factors affect the development of adolescent sleep pattern. Puberty itself imposes a burden of increased daytime sleepiness with no change in nocturnal sleep.” (Carskadon 1990:5) Puberty for our students, particular the boys may still be a factor for day time sleepiness, as can be seen below. Puberty for boys is strongest from 14 western years to 17 western years. Some boys should be coming out of Puberty when they enter our school, but some as we find might still be in it, but none would have finished.

Taken from ( online : 1/5/12)

Carskadon (1990) goes on to say that: Curfews and school schedules also affect adolescent sleep patterns, seen most commonly as imposing earlier rise times as the school day begins earlier during the adolescent years. Part time employment has a significant impact on the sleep patterns of teenagers: those who work more than 20h each week sleep less, go to bed later, and are more sleepy. (p.5). And finally in her abstract she says. The consequences of the chronic pattern of insufficient sleep are day time sleepiness, vulnerability to catastrophic accidents, mood and behaviour problems, increased vulnerability to drugs and alcohol, and development of major disorders of the sleep/ wake cycle. (p.5) It is this last idea that lack of sleep leads to other disorders which might explain much of the strange, and sometimes lethargic, or violent nature of our students. Furthermore, this experiment found the following slightly surprising data.

The daytime sleep tendency across maturational stage was not related to a change in the amount of sleep at night. The implication of this study is that older adolescents become sleepy in the daytime, even when sleeping as much as younger adolescents. Therefore, if anything, older teens may require more sleep to maintain alertness than do younger teens. (p.7) Lack of sleep is reported to affect mood, “There is considerable evidence that circadian and sleep disturbances are important in the pathophysiology of mood disorders. Depressed patients often show altered circadian rhythms, sleep disturbances, and diurnal mood variation”, according to Germain and Kupfer (2008:Abstract). It might be suggested that sleep therefore is essential and important to wellbeing. This study looks at the amount of sleep students report to be taking during school time. Methodology. All but two classes in the first and second grades were surveyed. Each student was given the questionnaire they did not enter their names with the hope that their answers would be honest. The questionnaire asked the following questions. 1: 학교 시갂 동안 얼만나 자나요? (How much time do you spend sleeping at school?) 2: 어느 수업 기갂에 잠을 많이 자나요? (In which classes do you sleep the most?) 3: 왜수업시갂에 잔다고 생각하나요? (Why do you sleep during class time?) 1) Because the class is boring. (수업이 지루해서) 2) Because you are lazy(본인이 게을러서) 3) Because you have a part time job.(알바를 해서) 4) Because you played too many computer games. (컴퓨터 게임을 너무 많이 해서) 5) Because you studied too hard at night. (밤에 공부를 너무 열심히 해서) 6) Because you played too hard at night. (밤에 너무 열심히 놀아서) 7) Because you feel school is not for you. (학교가 맞지 않다고 생각해서) 8) Because the subject is too difficult.(과목이 너무 어려워서)Please name the difficult subjects. (과목 이름을 쓰세요)____________________________ 9) Other (기탁)


Reasons for sleeping by school year.

Reasons for sleeping 2 학년
8 6% 7 2% 6 6% 9 15% 1 43% 5 9% 4 3% 3 9% 2 7% 9 21% 8 5% 1 46%


7 3% 6 4% 5 6% 4 3%

2 8% 3 4%

Key 1) Because the class is boring. (수업이 지루해서) 2) Because you are lazy(본인이 게을러서) 3) Because you have a part time job.(알바를 해서) 4) Because you played too many computer games. (컴퓨터 게임을 너무 많이 해서) 5) Because you studied too hard at night. (밤에 공부를 너무 열심히 해서) 6) Because you played too hard at night. (밤에 너무 열심히 놀아서) 7) Because you feel school is not for you. (학교가 맞지 않다고 생각해서) 8) Because the subject is too difficult.(과목이 너무 어려워서)Please name the difficult subjects. (과목 이름을 쓰세요)____________________________ 9) Other (기탁)

For both first and second year students we see similar reasons for sleeping in class. We can that the biggest single reason given for sleeping in class is boredom. Here is how much the students sleep during their school day. Note: Two classes in the second grade a missing. Time spent sleeping as reported by students.

Explanation The bar graphs show the number of students who sleep for each duration of time. The pie charts show the same data in a more visually accessible form. Please note 30% of students sleep for more than an hour in the first grade and 41% in the second grade. Also note that almost one third (34%) of first graders reported that do no sleep at all, compared with 14% of second graders.

Which subjects did the students indicate they found boring and thus sleep in that subject the most?

Social Studies 2%

Robotics Design 1%

Industrial Experience 1%

1 학년
Industry 1%

Programming 1%

Everything After lunch 2% 2% Basic Robotics 4% English 5% Korean 5%

Maths 32%

Science 15% Students Who wrote Nothing 29%

Robotics Design 3% Programming 3% After lunch 3% Reading 4% Science 5% Industry 6% Korean 7% English 7%

Rest time 1%


Tired 1%

Students Who wrote Nothing 30%

Maths 10%

Basic Robotics 20%

For first grade students we find that Math and Science are slept in the most. And for second grade students Basic Robotics and Math are the subjects slept in the most. A similar one third of students though do not complain about any subject being difficult.

Discussion 70% of first grade students do not sleep for more than an hour during class. This is a very positive figure and I believe is mixed in with students perceptions of how important school is. It may also be linked with the school aiming to recruit higher calibre students compared with last year’s intake. 59% of students in the second grade sleep for more than an hour. I suggest this is a problem, most likely linked with student growing apathy towards their education. But that is a question which would require further study. Looking at the Carskadon study there may be outside factors which also account for this change. Carskadon (1990:7) suggests that a lowering of parental influence, lack of curfews and part time jobs could explain this increase , but further questioning of student could clarify this. Carskadon (1990), also suggests teenagers simple desire to stay up later also as a leading factor in lack of sleep. 31% of students in the first grade sleep for 2 hours or more, this I feel is an issue as this would take away from study time, a similar figure is found for second grade students (39%). It is not shown in this study but it would be interesting to think about how previous academic performance affects causes a self-perpetuating circle of lack of night time sleep and low grades. Perhaps it would be interesting to find out if Korean young people failing to do well at school and becoming more and more night owls as they feel failure which on sets apathy which leads to staying up late. With regard to students finding certain subjects boring then I would like to make the following observations, the subjects of Math, Science and Basic Robotics are reported as being the most subject which have the most time spent being slept in. But referring back to the two brief pieces of literature, I might suggest that the difficulty of the subject merely acts as a stimulus for a time to take a rest which for many students is much needed after whole night of computer games and staying awake. I would like to investigate more about the students perceptions of these subjects, and think about if the reason they are mentioned the most is because of pedagogy, teacher personality, students ability or for some other reasons. Conclusion The sleepiness of teenage students during our school time has been touched on here. Most students sleep for up to one hour or more each day sleeping during class time. About 25% of students sleep, in my opinion, excessively. This study shows suggests in a limited way which subjects are slept the most in, Math, Science and Basic Robotics. What this study has not looked at in depth are the outside factors which may well be influencing our students sleeping during class. There is no doubt that students may consider boredom as a factor for sleepiness, but I suggest after reading just a little that the issues are more complex. Specifically I would like to continue this study by looking in depth at two more areas. First what factors are influencing our student’s night time activities, and second what students find difficult or boring about the subjects they have reported. As a plan of action I also feel that as teachers in this modern society we also seem to take much of a parental role, and thus I would recommend teachers encouraging students to sleep more during the night. And that the school day should start later.

References Germain, A. and Kupfer, D.J. (2008) Circadian rhythm disturbances in depression. Human Psychopharmacology Clinical and Experimental. Vol 23(7) pp.571-585 Carskadon, M.A (1990) Patterns of Sleep and Sleepiness in Adolescents. Pediatrician 1990; 17:5-12.

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